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Employers must be legally required to train workers, says UCU

1 September 2006 | last updated: 15 December 2015

UCU has today called for new legal requirements to bring about a sea-change in workplace training. This follows the publication of a new TUC report, 2020 vision for skills, which reveals Britain's workplaces are facing a skills crisis with more than one in three employers refusing to train.

Paul Mackney, joint general secretary of UCU, said: 'The government's new funding strategy for adult education is based on the assumption that employers will pay more towards training for workers but this report confirms there is still a lot of ingrained resistance.

'UCU recognises that there has been more emphasis placed on workplace training, such as the national Train to Gain scheme, but we believe the government must go beyond exhortation, and instead secure a statutory basis for workplace training which would in turn create a new training culture.

'We want to see: tax credits or subsidies to reward employers who train; a legal entitlement to paid educational leave for employees; and statutory encouragement for education and training committees in workplaces.

'Only then, can adults, who will make up 70% of the workforce by 2020, make their full contribution to closing the nation's skills gap.'